Sheriff's Department

 About the Sheriff's Office

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) is the largest sheriff's office in Milwaukee County. MCSO maintains the county jail, provides bailiff services for the cirucit court, patrols the freeway, provides law enforcement presence at General Mitchell International Airport and the Milwaukee County Institutions Complex. We maintain the peace throughout the County.

Department Head PhotoSheriff

Richard R. Schmidt

On June 6, 1986, Richard R. Schmidt began his career as a deputy with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, and was promoted to sergeant in 1996. Further promotions included captain in January 2002, deputy inspector in January 2003 and inspector of detention services in February 2006. In August 2010, Sheriff Clarke promoted Schmidt to senior commander of the agency, and placed him in charge of day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office. On September 1, 2017, Schmidt assumed the role of Sheriff of Milwaukee County upon the resignation of Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr.

Schmidt led the Police Services Bureau, which included Expressway Patrol, Criminal Investigations and Airport Security. In 2004, he was named commander of the Detention Services Bureau (DSB). This included oversight of correctional officers and medical, clerical and sworn staff assigned to the Milwaukee County Jail. On January 1, 2009, his responsibilities increased when the Milwaukee County House of Correction in Franklin, the inmate electronic monitoring program and the Huber community access program were placed under the authority of the Sheriff and became part of the DSB. Additionally, the DSB was expanded to include the Courts Services Division, which assigns deputies as bailiffs to courts located in the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Criminal Justice Facility, Safety Building; and the Children’s Detention Center in Wauwatosa.

Sheriff Schmidt has a bachelor's and a master’s degree in administration, both from Hyles-Anderson, Crown Point, Indiana, and he earned a doctorate from Northland International University. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety Executive Management Program, the National Institute of Corrections Executive Excellence program and the F.B.I. National Academy. He attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government for classes in driving government performance, senior executives in state & local governments, and mastering negotiations, and completed training by the Wisconsin Jail Association and National Institute of Corrections-Large Jail Networks.

Professional affiliations include the American Correctional Association, American Jail Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sheriffs’ Association, Badger State Sheriffs’ Association and the Milwaukee County Law Enforcement Executives Association. He is a member of the Milwaukee Urban League, the Milwaukee Community Justice Council, the Milwaukee County Safety and Justice Challenge and the 53212 Harambee Drug-Free Community Coalition.

Alongside members of the Sheriff’s Office, he has volunteered with Wisconsin Special Olympics, The Salvation Army, Shop With a Cop and the National Education Association’s Read Across America.



The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office was founded in 1835. It is the largest and oldest Sheriff's Office in the State of Wisconsin. The Sheriff's constitutional mandates include keeping and maintaining the peace throughout the county, maintaining the county jail, providing bailiff services for circuit courts and serving legal process. In the interest of flexible and efficient service to Milwaukee County citizens the Sheriff's Office is comprised of three bureaus: Administration, Police Services and Detention Services.

The Sheriff's Office, using community policing as an organizational philosophy, remains sensitive to the needs of the community. Recognizing that safety is a community responsibility, the Sheriff's Office engages the community. Knowing that our effectiveness is determined by public cooperation, the Sheriff's Office goal is to identify community leaders and work to facilitate the efforts of neighborhood leaders. The greater the degree of public involvement in addressing community problems the greater the potential for effective problem solving.

On October 23, 2002, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office dedicated a new state-of-the-art-training academy located at 9225 S. 68th St. Franklin, Wisconsin. The academy is a 46,500-square-foot facility that includes eight classrooms, two lecture halls, a physical training room, mock training cells, three standard pistol ranges with a total of 20 firing points and an indoor 360-degree tactical firearms training room. Four of the classrooms can be joined and expanded to seat between 20 to 200 individuals. The two lecture halls each have seating for 57 people and can be joined so that up to 130 people can observe the same lecturer. The tactical firearms training room, or shoot house, allows realistic scenario based training.

Adjacent to the training academy is a memorial dedicated to the 13 Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputies who died in the line of duty while in service to the Milwaukee County community. The statute, titled "Call to Duty," sits atop a five-foot high octagonal marble base where each of the officer's names is inscribed. The site was selected because it can be viewed from the academy's main hall and will constantly remind deputies and students of the sacrifices all officers make to the community.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Badge


821 W. State St., Room 107
Milwaukee, WI 53233

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